#1 Proper Keyword selection – Google gives advertisers the unique capability to target people who are searching for your services RIGHT NOW, in what is called “intent based advertising”. However, a common mistake a beginning advertiser makes when selecting the keywords for which your ads will show is focusing on keywords that only seems to be relevant, but actually represent a completely different intent that what you had originally assumed.
Here is an example:
“home pest control”
While these keywords looks to be relevant, it actually represents a completely different user intent than what we think – People who search “home pest control” on Google are searching (mostly) for a DIY solution to treat pests in their own home, and not for an exterminator as we may think.
How can you tell the difference? It’s quite simple – look at the organic listing for the specific keyword that you’re unsure about – if most of the organic listings on the page are related to products and DIY solutions, then this means that most people using this search phrase are not looking for a service provider.
A high intent pest control keyword would be:
“Pest control near me”
“Pest control + location”
These are keywords that 99.9% of users who use it, are searching for a service provider and not for a product or a natural remedy.
#2 Work on your Quality Score – Quality Score is one of the most important elements that gets “neglected” by most campaign managers. Think of Quality Score as the gear in a manual transmission box – You don’t want to drive a car on a speedway using the 1st gear right? You’ll burn your engine if you do that for more than a few minutes. Well, the same with Quality Score – If you’re trying to place your ad in a prominent position and beat the competitors, have to have a high Quality Score (7/10 or higher), or else you will be charged a very high cost per click and your advertising efforts will not yield a positive ROI. In order to achieve a high QS rank, you will need to pay attention to 3 main things:
The first thing is your ad copy – You must have a compelling ad copy that will make people click it at a high click through rate (CTR), if your CTR is higher than most of your competitors’ CTR your Quality Score will be high. Always strive to include the main keyword that you’re targeting in your ad copy, in one of the headlines.
The second thing – Make sure that you have a clear, easy to navigate, mobile friendly, content rich landing page. Poor landing pages that people “bounce off” tell Google that your landing page user experience is poor, and Google will “punish” you by lowering your QS. Examine the landing pages of your main competitors, and get a clearer understanding on how much content you need to include, the overall layout of the page, and the “look and feel”. Do not copy their landing pages, one for one, but do try to learn from what they do well, and replicate those principles on your landing pages too.
The 3rd thing – A/B test your ad copy. Even if you think that you’ve created the best ever ad copy, a better ad copy is always out there – The only way to make sure that you’re staying ahead of the curve and beating the competitors with your ads (and the CTR that they are able to generate) is by running 2-3 ads at the same time, after a few weeks pause the ad that has shown the lowest CTR, and replace it with a new ad that you think will be able to beat the winning ad. Do this constantly, every 1-2 months, and you’ll see how your campaign becomes more effective with time.
#3 Add Negative Keywords: First, let me explain what’s a Keyword, and what’s a Search Term and what’s the difference between the two:
A keyword is a targeting setting – By adding a keyword to your campaign, you tell Google, which search terms will trigger your ads. A search term is the exact term or phrase that the user typed into Google’s search box. Here’s an example: Let’s say you have added the keyword “pest control” in phrase match (we’ll talk about match types in another post) this keyword can trigger ads for the following search terms:
“Pest control”, “New York pest control”, “diy pest control”, “pest control products”, “fly pest control”, “home pest control” etc.…
The keyword “pest control” tells Google that as long as the user used the words “pest control” in his search term, your ads will be eligible to show. This means that even if the user added another word before or after the phrase “pest control” which could make the entire search term completely irrelevant to your services, your ads will still show, and if they get clicked on, they will waste your money and give you a poor return on your investment.
There are two possible solutions that you can use to solve this issue:
The first one is use only exact match keywords such as [pest control]. Exact match tells Google to only show your ads when the user is using exactly the same search term as you’ve added as a keyword. If the search term has any words before, after or in between your exact match keywords, your ads will not be eligible to show. This is a good strategy if you have a very small budget (less than $2K) as it prevents wasting budget on irrelevant clicks. The disadvantage of this strategy is that you will have to conduct a very extensive keyword research and find all of the most relevant keyword variations that you want your ads to show for. It will also prevent your ads from showing up for “long tail” search terms – These are the search terms that have a low search volume, high user intent and low competition (their CPC is low). Since you will be focusing on the most competitive keywords, Your avg. CPC is likely to be high as well (so work on your Quality Score).
The second approach relies on using the relatively broader match types such as Modified Braod or Phrase match and going over the search terms reports – Looking at the exact searches that lead users to click on your ads, and searching for irrelevant search terms that you want to prevent your ads from showing in the next time. Let’s say that you spotted a search term “home remedy pest control” you will then take the word “remedy” and “remedies” and add these two words as negative keywords to your account – In the future if anybody uses one of these words in his search term, your ads will not ever show.